Trouble Still In Lofa

-Former LURD Generals Threaten to Attack, If…

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted February 4, 2005

With the extension of civil administration by the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) to the leeward counties as per the mandate of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in Accra in 2003, Liberia’s political structure is yet to be fully established as threats to destabilize the fragile peace continue to come from former fighters.

Latest document in the custody of The FORUM newspaper has revealed that former generals of the defunct Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) have threatened to disrupt peace in Lofa County if they are excluded from the county’s civil administration by the NTGL.

The meeting, according to reports, was recently held in a provincial town of Voinjama at the residence of LURD’s appointed Acting Commissioner for Voinjama District, Jimel Kamara. Mr. Kamara is said to have called the meeting to get the views of his fellow commanders and advisers in LURD as to how they can do future planning to organize a protest against the decision of NTGL’s appointments of a new Lofa County civil administration.

Some of the LURD members who are said to have attended the meeting at Mr. Kamara’s residence were Moidounyan Fofana, Paramount Chief, Quardu Bondi Chiefdom; Kerselle Kamara, Clan Chief, Koidoboni Chiefdom; Soko G. Kamara, and Lassena Kamara, another senior LURD commander.

The Acting Commissioner of Voinjama District is reported to have told his people that he will not accept the appointed officials from Monrovia and if the NTGL imposes people on them, “we will disturb the peace process in Lofa.”

The document furthered that Mr. Kamara is said to have stated that for peace sake , he will accept Messrs James F. Shelloe and Joseph Yangbeh as superintendent and assistant development superintendent for the county respectively.

He however warned that any other person “brought in the county to occupy any other position other than the LURD appointed officials will mean the end of peace people are enjoying in Lofa.” “Mandigoes and Lorma were the main victims of the war in Lofa but the government has forgotten [this] and given all the positions to Kissi and Gbandi people,” Mr. Kamara further emphasized.

The document also revealed that one former LURD General alias “Master General” made it strict that they will not accept anyone beside the two persons appointed in Monrovia, saying, “if the United Nations and Liberian Government think that they have disarmed us and have no more power, they are getting it wrong.” “Everyone knows our military capability and if [people in Monrovia] try to rule Lofans without their participation, we will resist.”

“My wartime name is ‘fire’, this time around we cannot take anything easy and we the Mandigoes are going to fight for our right,” Mr. Kamara who is a former LURD General noted, adding that they will not accept anyone from the old Taylor government even if it cost them to disrupt the peace process.

The FORUM could not get any word from those who attended the meeting in Lofa as our reporter was told that all have gone back to Voinjama.

When LURD Chairman emeritus Seku Damate Conneh was contacted via cell phone on three different occasions, he could not comment but his aide told The FORURM that they have no knowledge of it.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.